Resolutions aren’t goals; an important distinction to make. There’s what you plan to achieve—and there’s what you do now. If you beat yourself up every day because you haven’t lost 20 pounds yet, you won’t get very far. Not only because this is a tall order and can’t happen right away, but also because in ratcheting up your stress levels, you make it that much harder to achieve.
Resolve to reduce stress now. Here’s how.
1. Lighten your load
Carting around a heavy bag or briefcase every day can do a job on your neck, shoulders, and back, plus throw off your spinal alignment. Make some changes to ease up on your body and prevent and address aches and pains.
- Dump everything out on the floor or a countertop and only put back what you absolutely need and use daily.
- Store, file, or otherwise handle any paperwork, receipts, or business cards you find.
- Toss the junk that’s taking up space.
- Put the heavy change in a jar, lose or file the store cards you never use, and only keep the cards you use.
2. Try a new herbal tea.
While the ritual of brewing and drinking tea alone can soothe the soul, don’t underestimate the power of herbs to relax you.
- Try some bagged herbal teas, or buy herbs in loose form to create your own custom blends.
- Lavender has a calming effect on the nervous system and may relieve mild anxiety.
- Chamomile is an anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory, known for soothing the digestive system and may ease insomnia.
- Peppermint can ease irritable bowel and nausea, improve digestion, and ease stress.
- Skullcap is another relaxing herb that can soothe nervous tension and headaches and reduce irritability.
3. Play like a kid.
A fun way to break out of the drudgery of working out is to approach it as a game—and even do the things you did as a kid. You’re more likely to enjoy physical activity, and do more of it.
- Try hula hooping for a minute straight to wake up your core muscles.
- Jump rope is a vigorous workout—aim for 50, and work your way up to 100 jumps. If you want a real challenge, aim for 5 minutes straight.
- Turn on the music and dance like nobody’s watching. You’ll be torching calories by the minute.
4. Find out what’s eating you.
You can’t address what you don’t know. So if you haven’t taken your online assessment yet, now’s the time. Find out exactly where you fall on the spectrum of stress, and what issues plague you most—and address it. Let us help you start to change the very roots of that stress response—and shift your entire outlook in the process.
Stressed? Tell us about it. No, really—we want to know.
Terri Trespicio is a media personality, lifestyle expert, and coach. Visit her at territrespicio.com.